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Chester's Commercial Hotel closes its doors

Founding director admits pub has been struggling in recent months

The Commercial Hotel

A well known Chester pub has closed eight years after a star-studded opening night attended by the likes of Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and former Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan .

The Commercial Hotel gained a new lease of life in 2010 following its transformation into a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant.

But today John Locke, one of the original directors and former marketing manager for Manchester’s Comedy Store, posted the following statement on Facebook .

At the launch night for The Commercial in 2010 were director John Locke with guests Justin Moorhouse, Paddy McGuinness and TV actor Steve Edge.

He wrote: “An important part of my life as well as mine and many others’ story finished today, as we have had to close the business running The Commercial Chester. Very sad for the team who worked hard beside me over the years to try and create something very special.

“We did achieve our aim many times to create something incredibly unique and we achieved ‘special’ and gave joy and memories to thousands over the last eight years. Unfortunately things got harder financially during the last few months and ultimately we have had to close the doors.

“I want to personally thank and send love to all who were a part of this last eight year journey and adventure as friends, colleagues and customers.”

The Commercial is located within a Grade II-listed Georgian building in St Peter’s Square, behind The Cross, which dates from the early 1800s. It was constructed as part of the Commercial Newsrooms by renowned architect Thomas Harrison who was also responsible for rebuilding Chester Castle and designing Grosvenor Bridge .

Crowds pack the courtyard at The Commercial Hotel in Chester on Good Friday in 2011.

The building is owned by the gentlemen-only Chester City Club, located opposite, who have not commented so far.

Before its current incarnation The Commercial was a traditional watering hole that was relatively hidden from view and trade was steady. From 2005 The Commercial fell on hard times; it suffered a fire and a failed attempt to remodel the interior by a national tavern chain.

The doors had been shut for four years when along came business partners John Locke, David Coughlin and Martin Ellis whose upmarket vision breathed new life into the venue which proved extremely popular and successful in the early days. They turned its semi-secret location into a quirky selling point and created more bar space within a single-storey extension.

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